Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Combat Veterans
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD - was popularized as a term to describe the cluster of symptoms displayed by many returning soldiers from the Viet Nam War. This terminology replaced the older terms "combat fatigue" (WWII) and "shell-shocked" (WWI).
Traumatic Events Precede PTSD
One does not have to be a combat veteran to have PTSD, or a milder version of the same phenomenon. Anyone who has experienced traumatic events or who has had a visceral response of shock, horror, or terror to an event is likely to have experienced it.
The Effects of PTSD
When the human organism is faced with an overwhelming situation that feels life-threatening, it exceeds the person's capacity to emotionally process it. Flashbacks which recall the traumatic event in vivid detail may occur; lack of concentration, depression, fearfulness, phobic responses to similar situations, and dissociation (emotionally checking-out) may also be features of PTSD.
Treatment for PTSD
Psychotherapy may be helpful for persons suffering from PTSD; it is often useful to talk about the event with a "safe" person, who is a trained professional. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a promising new treatment that often rapidly alleviates PTSD symptoms.
Self Help Resources for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
The self help books in the section, PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are recommended resources for information about PTSD ? symptoms, effective treatments and coping strategies for patients and families.